P90X Day 3: Understanding Your Limitations
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
-Winnie the Pooh (No Joke)
One of the biggest challenges I have in life and it seems to spill over into working out is balance. I have a desire to keep pushing myself at almost no cost.
I have a shoulder injury that I consistently nags me if I am not careful. It is challenging because I know my other muscles in my arms and torso are begging to do more, but my left shoulder has it’s own agenda. I have to be patient with him because we are going to be around each other for quite some time.
I have to take more breaks and use less weight. So while I would love to be using 35 or 40 pound dumbbells for most of these shoulder exercises, I am using 20 and 25 pounds.
I am OK with it. I have to be.
The most significant thing is that I don’t tear a rotator cuff or something else that will get me on the operating table. That pushes me back further because I won’t be able to exercise for a while. Too many athletes push themselves to beat their competition and requires numerous surgeries unless they pull back and are patient with their muscles, bones, and joints.
If great genetic freaks deal with it, chances are you will too.
As you progress you will figure out the difference between “training to failure” and actual pain. The training to failure burn happens because your muscle fibers can no longer take the impact and while your mind may push for more, your body says no. There are multiple opinions on how far to train toward and whether training toward failure leads to overtaining, injury, and other potential problems.
True pain like a muscle tear is something that will happen on rep 1 or 16. It happens long after the exercise. It is consistent and often nagging. If you don’t protect those muscles, use less weight, and put on ice or heat, then you will be asking for it later. This is also why it is so important to warm up for at least 5-10 minutes before and cool down for 5 minutes after each fitness routine.
As I mentioned, I have talked to numerous fitness experts that have had surgery on joints. They have told me time and time again that they wish they would have used less weight instead of trying to push themselves.
The biggest key to success for those that are in shape compared to those that are not is one thing: patience.
People in shape never get too down on themselves. They never feel like failures and throw in the towel after they hit a plateau in exercise or have a bad eating day. They wipe the slate clean and go on to the next day. They know that they might not win every day, but they will win most days.
Shoulders & Arms: Talked a little about this already. I had to take a few more breaks than I like, but not because of endurance issues, but because of the strength of my shoulder. This was the first physically positive day where I felt like I had more control in my workout form. I feel like I didn’t get that great of a sweat so I went to the gym and did the stair stepper for thirty minutes to burn some carbs. i might do this periodically because I sit on my butt most of my day and don’t have a really active lifestyle.
Again, I did most of my exercises with 20-25 pound dumbbells. The SelectTech dumbbells are a little cumbersome at times, but I am getting used to them compared to standard metal dumbbells I have used in the past. They are definitely worth the purchase. It is so easy to shift weight and keeps my workout space very neat and tidy.
Ab Ripper X: We meet again. This time I had more energy. Not a lot, but it was better.
I still had to take a couple breaks. I will try to push myself in two days to see if I can make it all the way through without a break.
There is nothing like setting mini goals along the way to success. It makes all the difference.
I am keeping track of all of my performance numbers. I will compare them at the end of the 90 days to see how much weight and reps I am using. I don’t plan on moving up in weight for Shoulders & Arms, but I would like to pick up my pace and do more reps. I will be more than satisfied with that. My focus right now is just to maintain lean mass and decrease body fat.
Three days in…great start.